The greatest threat to the country’s socio-economic and political well-being is corruption. The vice is entrenched and difficult to root out.
Several factors combine to create this situation. Political interference, shoddy investigations, poor prosecution and slow court processes all work to derail anti-corruption efforts.
Corruption itself feeds a corrupt system. Purveyors of corruption use the proceeds to circumvent the justice system. But that is no reason to despair. Strong resolve and commitment is required to win the war.
This week, Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti meted out a deserved penalty to an individual who had siphoned millions of taxpayers’ cash from the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. Businessman Mukuria Ngamau was jailed for seven years and fined Sh720 million for stealing from the youth fund.
Besides, the convict has to pay back the Sh180 million he was paid for services never rendered. This is a welcome boost in the war against graft. Courts must lead the way and deal firmly with the vice.
We have stated repeatedly that the surest way to deal with corruption is to seize, charge and convict the culprits. Further, cases should be expedited and the culprits handed commensurate penalties to deter others. Corruption must be made painful.
However, it is regrettable that only a few corruption cases are tackled to their logical conclusion. And this is the point we seek to make. Several high-profile individuals have been arrested in the past and charged in court but the cases are stuck and, in fact, some may collapse due to lack of evidence.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the Judiciary must up the game. They have to deal decisively with the vice. We have to demolish the chain of corruption and save the country from socio-economic ruins.